Chinese experts say China is facing population issues such as men outnumbering women by 50 million and an increasingly aging population.
According to a report in the Beijing Evening News, experts at the first China Population Forum held in Beijing say China's population has a low growth rate, although zero growth rate will not occur until the middle of the 21st century.
Hou Yafei, a Beijing Population Institute expert, said a great proportion of the population receives no education after graduating from primary school. Only one in fifty of those 25 years old and over have had a college education. In developed countries that figure is one in four.
Limited education has prevented many people from becoming eligible for new industries such as the information industry.
Song Jian, a professor with People's University of China, says the population structure will become China's core concern this century.
Besides the big difference between the male and female population, statistics also show those 60 years old and over account for more than 10 percent of the population.
Song also says the speed of urbanization in China is far below that of industrialization. These structural conflicts must be seen to, otherwise in the long run, problems such as an economic slowdown will follow.
(People's Daily November 14, 2001)